ClaraJane – First Grade Snapshot

Wednesday, September 27th 2017

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ClaraJane & Ms. Z 


A dynamic fall so far!

Come to find out ClaraJane has waxed, er… ambivalent about her literacy work in first grade.  As a new “Lower Elementary” parent I was playing wait-and-see, but there were enough struggles that I went in for a meeting with her wonderful teacher and the school’s fantastic counselor.


Already things are turning around.


Here are some ingredients to the Magic Formula:

  • Parents & teachers getting”on the same page,”
  • Clear expectations
  • Positive Encouragement
  • Pointing out natural consequences
  • Emphasizing EFFORT over outcome (Growth Mindset) and
  • Intrinsic reward. 

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In fact by the time I went into the meeting, ClaraJane had already had a positive day.


The assistant teacher -recognizing ClaraJane’s penchant for the Frozen ice queen Elsa- helped suggest that ClaraJane choose the iceberg as her writing topic for the Timeline of Life assigment:




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“Earth turned into a giant snowball several times in its arly history.”


Can we take a moment to appreciate that even as my little daughter is still learning to write her name, she is writing a report about one of the stages of natural history?

In fact the first week of school she came home in excitement after Ms. Z had presented the first of the five Montessori Great Lessons; the Beginning of the Universe and Earth, illustrating the Big Bang by popping a balloon filled with glitter sparkles!

Imagine the wonder of learning the very fact you are made of literal STARDUST… when you are only six years old.  I sure didn’t!


Apparently another motivational ingredient is letting them know that the adults in their lives are coordinating to support them.   Ergo:

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Side note example:  Natural consequence of needing a meeting;  I didn’t get to see ClaraJane before work this day. 








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“ClaraJane’s Writing Buddy”



Also of note; after a couple fails in bringing in a “writing buddy” stuffed animal or toy to school to provide her company and inspiration… for now we have settled on this little sleeping kitty, in this case unceremoniously GLUED by mommy onto card stock which ClaraJane labeled “CLARAJANE’S WRITING BUDDY.”


Fingers crossed.




Next up:  Learning how to have enough juice leftover before bedtime to spend the time and attention on READING that this wondrous early reader deserves.

More to come!









About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in childhood, education, parenthood, school, work-life balance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to ClaraJane – First Grade Snapshot

  1. Bubble Wow says:

    Way to go, CLARAJANE!!!! (and Mommy!)

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